The diverse development of the historic boatyard in Ruissalo and opening it to the public brought Visit Turku’s annual Tourism Oscar (Matkailun Oskari) prize to the Håkans family. The prize was presented by Mayor Minna Arve and accepted by CEO and Captain Joakim Håkans and family.

The reasons for the choice of the winner highlight the diverse development of the area:

The Tourism Oscar 2021 goes to a family who have contributed considerably and impressively to the tourism industry, as well as to the festivities and event activities in Turku. The development work in the Ruissalo Boatyard has connected the archipelago, Ruissalo, and the historic and still lively boatyard industry in Turku to the modern event industry in a unique and bold manner.

Two large, gorgeous and popular event halls have been designed in the area. One of the halls is modern and the other is a traditional boatbuilding hall, which, as a bonus, has acoustics fitting even for classical music. These days, the area also has an interior design boutique, a restaurant, a pizzeria and a wine bar, a guest harbour, guided tours and a summer theatre. Together, these make an inspiring and modern whole that highlights delicious food and offers an interesting destination to both locals and tourists.

The Ruissalo Boatyard and its history have been opened up to the public in a new way. The entire Håkans family have participated in the development, and this impressive contribution to the tourism and culture in the area makes them deserving of the Tourism Oscar.

CEO Joakim Håkans is delighted by the recognition given by Visit Turku.

‘Thank you so much for this prize, this goes to the whole family. It’s so nice to have the hard work of my family and the entire team recognised.’

Håkans describes how the development for the event and tourism activities for the boatdyard began almost by accident when the Port of Turku sold Åbo Båtvarv to Håkans and the company moved its headquarters from Pansio to Ruissalo.

‘We soon noticed that people are interested in the area, so we started offering them more services. The range of tourism services in the area has slowly developed and grown into an important part of our business. The area is a unique and interesting combination of the everyday life of a boatyard and immemorable services’, says Joakim Håkans.

The Tourism Oscar prize was now awarded for the 25th time. The annual tradition was initiated by Head of Tourism Anne-Marget Hellén, and the prize is given out for the last time before her retirement.